Talk – ‘Special Event Stations’ by Colin North, G4GBP

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This week at Pine Trees, we welcome Colin North, G4GBP, who will be delivering a presentation on Special Event Stations.

Most Radio Amateurs at some point or another will have likely worked one or more of the many Special Event Stations (SESs) that are frequently found on the air and which are activated from sites all around the world.

Up to date lists of those stations operating or planning to operate can be found online or in RadCom.

One such event taking place this weekend from 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC Saturday 21st April is International Marconi Day (IMD) where numerous stations will be on air from sites which are associated with Gugliemo Marconi.

Usually, special QSL cards and/or certificates are produced for such stations which are coveted by those who work them and huge pile ups can occur when the stations are operating.

There are a number of rules governing what constitutes a Special Event Station and how it is operated, such as licencing conditions, public access to the event and its significance to a person, event or place – but how do you go about participating or setting one up??

Colin G4GBP, an ex-Merchant Navy R/O, has a wealth of experience of operating such stations for events such as ROTA (Railways on the Air), MOTA (Mills on the Air) and IOTA (Islands on the Air).

Colin’s presentation to SDARC will be the perfect way to find out more about these stations and how to get further involved in their setting up and operation.

He is also our local (Wiltshire) RSGB Deputy Regional Manager and is hoping to spend a few minutes at the start of his presentation telling us about his role within the RSGB.

This is sure to be a fascinating presentation, so please join us from 7pm on Thursday 19th April at Pine Trees to meet Colin and find out more about Special Event Stations.

M1DST Talks to BBC Wiltshire

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James Patterson, M1DST was invited to talk about Amateur Radio with Graham Seaman of BBC Wiltshire. If you missed the show and want to listen again to just the interview it is available below.

Talk: 6m – The Magic Band’ by Don Field G3XTT

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The name Don Field will be known to many as the Editor of Practical Wireless, a role he took on in 2013. Don is also the author of several books, one of which is a handbook on the 6m band and it is this band that Don will be talking to us about on Thursday 12th April.

The band is not known as the ‘Magic Band’ for nothing and at certain times it can produce spectacular results and QSOs of thousands of miles. It can then disappear within minutes.

Please join us from 7pm at Pine Trees and Don Field will show you how to get the best results from the band

Mills on the Air 2018

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DSC_3844We are putting Wilton Windmill on the air again on 12th and 13th May 2018. The mill is one of the oldest working windmills in the country still producing flour.

We are looking for volunteers to help set up and operate the station.

You could bring family and make it a day out as the mill has tours around the mill, also the Crofton Beam Engines are just down the road. These are one of the last working beam engines in the country and does run on steam at certain times of the year.

If you can spare some time please email: Ken Powell (G1NCG) at kenpow_99@yahoo.com

Construction Competition Entries and Results

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We had a great turnout from members to see the projects that other members had built over the last year. We had seven entries spanning four categories and the judging was performed by M1DST, James who didn’t enter anything this year but is a keen builder.

James visited each project and talked in detail with the builder to gain further insight into the complexity of the project. Every entry had some kind of unique twist and the standard was very good.

Scoring was made and at the end of the evening the entrants were waiting to find out who had won in each category.  A summary of the entries and the winners is available at the end of this post.  A short video of the projects is below.

Thanks again to all the builders who provided their projects for scrutiny. Hope you enter more projects next year.

Hybrid

  • 2E0XRB – BitX 40m receiver – WINNER!

Antenna

  • M1KDJ – 2M Yagi (6 element) – WINNER!
  • M1CJE – 2M Yagi (2 element)

Homebrew

  • M1CJE – 10MHz reference and NTP server – WINNER!
  • M0OSM – Brass CW paddle

Kit

  • M0OSM – QRPlabs QCX – WINNER!
  • G4AJA – FM Broadcast Receiver

Members’ Construction Competition Rules 2018

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Soldering IronWe are holding the Construction Competition this week!

The aim of this annual Spring contest is to encourage members to build either radio equipment or ancillary items which enhance their radio operations and to exhibit these to encourage others to follow their example.

Entries can include any radio-related equipment or software, for example, Morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna, ATU…..

Entries can have been built at any time, but to be accepted as an entry, they must not have been entered in any previous SDARC construction contest.

If YOU have built something that helps you operate, why not enter it?  Remember it is not necessarily the most complex equipment that wins!

Provide sufficient details with your entry to help judges understand the purpose and operation of the entry….”Sell” the concept and its usefulness through your description, diagrams, circuits etc!

The contest will have five principal Product categories:-

Homebrew – This will be for equipment built completely by the club member. (If the equipment is a magazine project with a PCB available, then, the PCB may be used.)

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit. The kit should require some soldering to component level.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment which also contains one or more kits.

Antenna – This will be for special homebrew antenna systems. For this type of contest entry, the member will just need to provide photographs of the antenna together with a specification, a drawing and details of the construction. A list of countries worked with the antenna should also be provided.

Software – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either, a new piece of “stand-alone” software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

In addition, three Constructor categories may be brought to bear:-

Novice – This will be for those members who have not previously built or exhibited any equipment.

GeneralThis will be for those members who have built and entered previously.

Professional – This may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The number of Awards will reflect the scope of entries and may include awards made to deal with tie-break situations.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.

Please complete an entry form beforehand so you can bring it on the night. You can download the entry form here.

Newbury Radio Rally 2018 – CHANGE OF DATE

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Newbury and District ARS (NADARS) are delighted to announce the date of the Newbury Radio Rally for 2018.

It will be held again at the prestige venue of the Royal Berkshire (Newbury) Showground on Sunday 24th June.

Gates opening to sellers at 8am and to the public at 9am.

Yes. This is a week later than previous years, but a move has been necessary to gain help from volunteers to run the event. NADARS pride themselves in attention to detail and maintaining high standards of service to both Sellers and Buyers, but it takes a large number of volunteers to staff the event.

We hope the move away from Father’s Day will allow even more interested parties to attend what has become one of the largest amateur radio events of its kind in the South of England.

Apart from the date, everything else is exactly the same and at the same location.

It will also be the 31st year of this much-loved rally and we look forward to providing you with a warm and friendly welcome once again.

Phill, G6EES, Rally Manager

Club Closed – March 1st 2018

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The talk scheduled for March 1st has been canceled due to the expected bad weather. It will be rescheduled for another time.

There is no club today as Pine Trees will be closed.

DVD – ‘The Secret Wireless War – Black Propaganda’

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This week at Pine Trees we will be viewing a DVD entitled ‘The Secret Wireless War’ which is in two parts. This week we will be showing the second part entitled ‘Black Propaganda’.

During WWII, Britain waged a successful wireless war against the Axis forces in Europe by broadcasting ‘Black Propaganda’ from secret transmitter sites in England.

Ralph Murray, a Foreign Office official’ helped shape the style of the broadcasts, many of which were transmitted from the Woburn Estate. The film contains an interview with his son as well as interviews with Roy Tink, a teleprinter engineer and Phil Luck, who operated the transmitters.

The sites at Potsgrove and Milton Bryan were instrumental in beaming the broadcasts to Europe and there are extensive remains of the buildings still visible at the latter, which are examined during the film. The Milton Bryan station was linked by landline to an RCA 600kW transmitter named ‘Aspidistra’, which transmitted the recordings across to Europe.

The film was originally produced in 2002 and was remastered in 2014 with some new footage.

The DVD is being shown with the kind permission of David & Debra Rixon of Grindelwald Productions Ltd. and I thank them for their quick & polite response to my E-mail request to show their films to SDARC.

The DVD is available from their Amazon store, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Wireless-War-David-Rixon/dp/B000ECXBFK and their main website, which includes many walking and other DVDs, is available at http://www.grindelwald.co.uk

We hope to see you Thursday night from 7pm at Pine Trees to watch the film!

Talk-‘BYLARA’ by Jenni Jones, M0HZT

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This week at Pine Trees, we welcome Jenni Jones (M0HZT) who will be giving us a presentation on ‘BYLARA’. BYLARA is an acronym for ‘British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association’ and was set up in 1979 to further the interests of ‘YLs’ (Young Ladies) in the world of Amateur Radio. Through this, some of the aims were to promote operating and friendship across the globe and encourage courteous and correct operating procedures amongst operators. The latter, as most will have come across, is something that is sadly lacking on occasions!

Using the call ‘M0BYL’, the association runs regular nets, award schemes, supports radio rallies and they have undertaken Lighthouse activations and DXpeditions in the past. The frequencies used very often end in ‘88’ in reference to ‘88s’ meaning ‘Hugs & Kisses’ in radio parlance. The group also regularly support the RNLI and Portland Coast-watch with fundraising activities. They celebrated their 35th anniversary in April 2014 by operating with the call ‘GB35BYL’, operating on the 40m band from Wiltshire.

Jenni is hoping that their Chairma’am, Carol Ann Hodges (2E1RBH), will also be able to join us for the evening – making quite a journey from Portland to be with us.

Please join us at Pine Trees from 7pm on Thursday 8th February to meet Jenni & Carol Ann and view what is sure to be an interesting presentation. Of course, if you have an interested or licenced ‘YL’ or ‘XYL’, please bring them along too!’

Twitter: @jennijonesM0HZT
Web: http://bylara.org.uk/